Our lives are filled with questions that lead to thousands of decisions we make every day, sometimes without even giving it a conscious thought.
Coffee or tea? Toast or bagel? What to wear?
How often have you given a conscious thought to your basic routine? Outside of maybe deciding what to wear, the majority of our typical day is made up of mindless decisions. We wake up, shower, brush our teeth, make coffee (or tea), drive to work, clean our house, and on and on. We perform these day to day tasks like we are on autopilot. Then come those moments in life that take some thought, sometimes serious thought before moving forward.
We live in a culture that is rapidly changing and as followers of Jesus, we have some serious decisions to make. The question is, do we make these decisions based on our feelings, or what people around us believe or are pressuring us to do or do we stand on our faith and trust God to guide us especially when it could mean a significant loss on our part? Today if we disagree, even in a loving way, we risk losing family, friends, jobs, status, and could find ourselves standing alone. Is Jesus really worth all that?
I believe He is.
We have an enemy, make no mistake, and he is notorious for casting doubt in our minds with questions. Let’s go all the way back to the beginning and see just how he operates. Genesis chapter 1 tells us how God, in 6 days, created the universe, our physical world and every living thing in it, including mankind. It speaks of a time when Man, created in the image of God, walked with God and communed with Him face to face. God created Man perfect, without sin, innocent. Enter the enemy. Satan had already tried to raise himself to be equal with God and failed miserably. God had cast him and his followers out of heaven and he began his time of roaming the earth seeking whom he may devour. Misery loves company. His first task, cast doubt on the goodness and trustworthiness of the Creator God. Take a look at Genesis 3:1-7
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Has God indeed said? Doubt is a powerful tool that Satan uses to cause us to question God and our faith. The truth can be twisted just enough that we find ourselves thinking, “well, when you put it that way, it does make sense…”
Notice what Satan did.
First, he asked a question that was obviously false. “Did God say you couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?” The answer, “Of course not, silly! We have to eat and we can eat from ANY tree in the garden…well except one” (my paraphrase) “If we eat from that one tree, we will die.”
He then outright calls God a liar. “You will not surely die.”
He explains that God is hiding something from them and if they will only eat from this forbidden tree, they will know what God knows. I want you to see that, he clearly told them that they would know both good and evil. Remember, they already daily experienced good, the pure goodness of God. The thing they knew nothing about was evil. They had no clue what evil was and Satan made it sound like something wonderful that they were missing out on.
Isn’t that still how he operates?
Today we’ll take a look at just one example, homosexuality.
I recently listened to a message from Sadie Robertson Huff, where she used an example of lies Satan tells us concerning this topic. She said, “You really like your friend. That’s true. You believe your friend is attractive. That’s true. You’re attracted to your friend. Wait, what? Is that true? It must be.” Satan uses the game 2 truths and a lie to deceive us. The first two statements were true so you automatically believe the last one.
Today the world tries to tell us that just because we love someone that we could and probably should be sexually attracted and even sexually active with that person. After all, we love who we love, right? We can’t control who we love or can we?
It goes back to the truth, the real truth. God knew what evil was and it was not what He intended for us to experience. He created a perfect world where Man could commune with Him as long as he was obedient. He provided their every need and only asked one thing in return. His plan was to live in communion with them and to protect them from evil.
Satan had other plans.
The enemy spends his time twisting and distorting God’s Word so that if we aren’t firmly grounded, we could be deceived and find ourselves experiencing a terrible evil we thought would actually be something wonderful.
Love is actually a choice not an emotion. Do I feel emotions towards those I choose to love, of course, however, my love for them is not based on my emotions.
If we live our lives based on our emotions, we are in for one horribly bumpy ride that will take us to places we never intended to be and in situations that are way out of control. We need a strong foundation to keep us grounded and keep us on the right path. That foundation is the Word of God. Our Pastor reminds us almost weekly that it requires everything to follow Jesus. He wants it all, everything we have and everything we are. In return, we receive grace, forgiveness, eternal life, and the pure goodness of God.
In closing, train yourself to recognize the lies of the enemy by immersing yourself in God’s Word and allow Him to transform your mind to truth.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
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